An opening quadruple-bogey 8 helped Joohyung Kim make history Thursday at the Wyndham Championship.
The 20-year-old stepped up to the par-4 first to start his round and pulled his drive on the lip of a fairway bunker. Then with 104 yards to the hole, Kim advanced his approach 32 feet. His third shot went over the green into the rough, and still 25 feet from the cup, it would take another four tries for Kim to get his ball in the hole.
Kim’s reaction, however, was not what you think.
“I was laughing,” Kim said after his round. “There was nothing I could do. It was just the first hole and gosh, I just got a really bad lie and then didn’t really have another good lie and didn’t really have another good lie, didn’t really have another good lie. It turned out not bad.”
The South Korean, who earned enough non-member FedExCup points last week in Detroit to clinch permanent membership for the 2022-23 Tour season, didn’t card another square on his scorecard for the rest of the afternoon. The world no. 35 finished with a 3-under 67 and sits T-23, six shots off John Huh’s lead.
Full-field scores from the Wyndham Championship
“I just stayed really patient out there,” Kim said. “I knew there were birdies out there. Once I got momentum, I kept pushing and I think that’s how seven birdies came out there.”
It was the third time in the ShotLink era (2003) that a player made a quadruple bogey or worse on a round’s first hole and then went on to card an under-par score. Hank Lebioda did it on Day 1 of the 2019 Barbasol Championship and Freddie Jacobson did it in Round 3 of the 2010 American Express.
Maybe it was Kim’s loose mentality that allowed him to add his name to that list.
“I was only laughing because it was the first hole of the day and it was probably the worst start I’ve ever had in my career so far,” he said. “All I could do was laugh because just some shots I hit there were pretty awful. But I don’t know, for some reason I felt calm. It was one bad hole and I just told myself, ‘You know what, I can still get this, I can still shoot under par today,’ and somehow I did.”